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Project Runway Recap: Episode 12, "Nature Calls"

Project Runway Rundown: Episode 12, "Nature Calls"

Last night on Project Runway, the remaining four designers had to step up and prove themselves (and their designs) to the judges in hopes of moving on to Fashion Week. Of course, we know that they (and two others) all make it to Bryant Park, but last night it was about discovering who would present his or her collection in the final episode of the season as a contender for the Project Runway win.

I thought each designer would blow me out of the water, especially since the challenge was so basic. Actually "basic" is probably the wrong word — I think "stale" is better. We've seen the "take a picture and be inspired" challenge before (this time the theme was nature), even earlier this season. And in season two, Daniel V won a very similar challenge with his orchid-inspired ensemble, a look that was much more stunning than what these designers produced. That said, the final challenges are almost always a letdown; the judges want the designers to take risks (but punish them when they go awry), while the designers are so close to their goal that they get safe.

To read (and see) more about last night's episode — including a spoiler that annoyed me to no end —


Before we talk about all of the looks from last night's episode, here's some Project Runway free association:

  • Kenley continued her obnoxious streak. The episode began with her blaming Leanne for sabotaging and not "sell[ing her] outfit on the runway" and ended with her arguing with the judges about her attitude. Note to Kenley: If someone calls you out about your poor behavior, it's probably in your best interest not to argue with them. In doing so, you're only proving the point.
  • Jerell — the lone guy left — presented some hilariously awkward moments. Most notably, right after he admitted to being lonely, he was shown putting on a "puppet" show with himself (represented by a bottle of maple syrup), a Tim Gunn bobblehead, and two past contestants: Joe and Suede (two apples with faces drawn on). Someone needs a roommate!
  • You reap what you "sew": Because Kenley had rubbed the other designers the wrong way, when she discovered she had left her tulle at Mood, both Korto and Jerell refused to hand over their leftovers. I didn't blame them. But why didn't Kenley just go to the producers?
  • Kenley's story about her father being a tugboat captain didn't make me sympathize with her as a loner (or a loud person), though I'm sure that was her intention.
  • I was surprised that all of the designers were working till the very last minute. They had two days for this challenge, and none of the dresses was nearly as intricate as what Christian Siriano busted out last season.
  • Can we talk about all of the waterworks? I think this ep might have had the most ProjRun tears in history. And that's including the season with Andrae.

Now on to the looks:




  • Leanne — Leanne's one-shoulder, pleated purple dress was beautiful. Bonus that the judges also liked it. But the random blue train that she added last minute was haphazard and ugly. It would have been much better without it.
  • Jerell — Jerell's look was by far the most current and youthful. That being said, I was afraid that his model's breasts were about to pop out at any moment. Otherwise his look was good, and in an underwhelming pool, I suppose it deserved the win.
  • Korto – The judges had a beef with Korto's orange dress because they thought it looked too "pageanty." It wasn't the most innovative dress, but I think Korto received more flak for it than she deserved. Sure, it wasn't pushing the needle, but it fit her model like a glove and it was finished. All in all, not bad.
  • Kenley — Jerell said it best: it was Kenley the Dragon Slayer. What was she thinking? Kenley finally stepped out of her 1950s bubble, and came up with a dress that looked like a combination of Barney the dinosaur and Ursula from The Little Mermaid. It was by far the worst look, and Kenley should have been eliminated, but. . .
  • In a completely (un)shocking moment, Heidi announced that all of the designers would be creating a collection for Fashion Week. The only caveat was that one would be eliminated right before the Bryant Park show. I've come to expect these exceptions from Project Runway, but, to be honest, this time I was especially annoyed. Kenley should have been gone. Period.

    Should Kenley have been auffed last night? Or are you excited to see one more elimination before the big finale? And what do you make of all the designers trashing Kenley on the runway after Kenley again talked back? (Extended clip here, if you think you can handle it!)

    Photos courtesy of Bravo

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